Jane Arie Baldwin

Personal Tools for Living at the Highest Levels of You

Tag: love

Simple Guidance for Getting On With It


From a very early age, those in control told us to, “Hold it in.” “Don’t take everything so personally.”, “Act like a man!” These phrases were programmed into us during our early imprinting, teaching us to ignore our emotions and numb any sensation of feeling.

Feelings and emotions once touted as the realm of hippy-dippy, touchy-feely types, are now part of the neurobiological research mainstream. The science is clear. Neuroscience research has identified the limbic system in the brain as the place that processes incoming information and outgoing reactions. The amygdala is the information hub that receives messages and stimuli from our five senses and organs and also, in part, determines our emotional responses.

Our brains are exploding like fireworks with all of the outside stimuli we absorb and process daily. We’ve been programmed – for lack of a better word – to “Hold it all in.” When someone asks us how we feel we say “fine.” The truth is, we don’t know what we feel.


We play a game of avert and pivot, looking happy so others will keep their distance. Meanwhile, we crave connection. When we do unload, we dump onto our nearest and dearest confidants, asking the ones we love most to help carry the heaviest of our loads.

A standard response when emotions get triggered is to stuff them and keep them inside you. When they get stuffed, they get shoved deep down like the batting in a bear at Build-A-Bear Workshop. There is no room for emotions happening in real time because we are still holding on to those from last week, last year, or even as far back as childhood.

Those emotions and reactions then trigger and activate many different areas in our brains, traveling through our bodies affecting millions of sensory responses from body sweats, to stomach cramps, to eye twitching. Notice what happens to you physically and mentally next time your emotions surge. Follow them. Notice where you hold anger and anxiety in your body.


We wear the armor of protection against having to feel. How can we feel, after all? There’s no space. We’re like voodoo dolls that have been poked and prodded by life’s unavoidable circumstances.

At least at Build-A-Bear, they remember the love part, having a child kiss the little red heart before inserting it into the bear’s chest.

Acknowledge the protection you once needed, the reason you put the armor on in the first place, and then get on with it.

The key is the breath. Like a pinball hitting all the marks and lighting up the board, the breath moves through the body and activates places in you that have been dormant. Notice, how is my breath flowing? Is it evenly going in and out of my body? Or choppy? Do I have a deep inhale and exhale? Or is it shallow? The breath, like wind patterns in the weather, moves with the currents that guide our day.

A thick shell of armor keeps us from being vulnerable to attack. We wear masks or develop elaborate facades that we hide behind. We create these metaphorical expressions of ourselves to help us cope. The thoughts and internal images we build guide how people perceive us out in the world. We wear around so much of this armor that we’ve even, for the most part, forgotten how to feel.

What is the armor you wear?

It took me many years to recognize my armor and to see how I hid behind its cover, averting people or any deep, meaningful connection. I could not see it clearly until cervical cancer reeled me into myself. Then I saw that the person I projected into the world was an imitation of the person I left behind at about the age of thirteen.


Vulnerability, feeling your feelings, is a vital power center, a key to experiencing the kind of authentic connection that deep down we crave, even as we deny love because we tried it and it didn’t work for us before, in the past.

We need to brave feeling the vulnerability so that we can shed our armor, take off the mask, tear down the façade that we created in the past. There is so much to feel that is good, full of love and joy, hope and happiness. Herein lies the key to your power.






Now is the time to see the internal connections that have been there all along. Empirical evidence is coming forth to substantiate claims that were discovered long ago by many ancient cultures. Updated ideas in neurobiology research prove these claims and continue to show us how much more we have to learn about our bodies and minds and their inextricable connection.

At the heart of these what we are now learning from science is to experience authenticity by being true to yourself. Know yourself, and you will not have to dump your troubles on your best friend, you will not have to remind yourself and others of the pain you suffered as a child and continue to suffer. You will feel your feelings in real time, at the moment, and you will be free.











Let the Breath Breathe You

2012-06-27 13.56.04-1

Frigate Birds. Galapagos Islands. 2012

The energy of will is an electric force, where the power of love is a magnetic force. — Dr. Christine Page, Frontiers of Health


I have been finding lately that my old ways of responding and reacting to situations leaves me feeling like a battered flag after heavy winds. That sitting in silence for a few minutes every day and just listening to the sound of my breath, tracing its movement in and out, has had an anchoring affect.

Consistent practice has helped me to notice when I am responding to others from a place of action or falling into old patterns of reaction. Even if I take a day or two off here and there from meditation, the mat or the chair always welcome me back without judgment.

The ease of returning to practice after a stint away has been, for me, about connecting with the comfort and enjoyment of sitting alone, seated in the Self. There’s an interesting magnetic field effect at work when it comes to any practice that has the potential to be beneficial — like the magnet drawn to its opposite and repelled by its likeness. We want to go sit for 15 minutes WE KNOW that it would be good for us, yet somehow the moments get gobbled up by the day. Big deal. There is always this moment. And this one. And then this one.

The key to adapting to constant change is in discovering new ways to relate. Allowing each moment to be fresh and new requires almost constant reminding. That’s why it takes a village, a community of us, working together, reminding each other which way the magnets go to cling together. As with the magnet, the transformation of resistance into benefit comes when the guilt and judgment of NOT DOING become part of the past moment. Bygones become bygones. The slate is clean. The air is clear. Then the breath breathes you.

%d bloggers like this: